I was planning on giving the honor to Neve Campbell alone, but the character of Gale Weathers is almost on par with Sidney Prescott. And yes, you're probably thinking this list is incredibly driven towards the films of Wes Craven, but it cannot be denied that his films have featured some incredible female protagonists. In the beginning, Sidney was the sole heroine of the film, while Gale was considered the anti-hero or "the bitch." Her role morphed into an incredibly likable and borderline admirable character, and by the time Scream 4 (Craven, 2011) is released, we find ourselves rooting for both of them, nearly to the same degree, anyway.
This franchise is well-known for establishing female characters that are very knowledgable about horror films, helping them fight back against the killers that actively pursue them. The fact that Scream was so self-aware was incredibly innovative in 1996. Never before had the victims of the slasher genre known what was coming. This combination of satire and horror was wonderfully effective, and helped breath new life into the dying horror genre. While Scream 2 (Craven, 1997) was rather entertaining, Scream 3 was a cheesy rehash of what had once proven so effective, but had been done to death in parodies and other horror films of the time. One would have considered the franchise dead, and for 10 years if was. 2011 marked the rebirth of Ghost Face, and the return of writer Kevin Williamson to the series.
In this film, Neve Campbell proved that she is still just as much the epic "Final Girl" that she was in 1996, and more so, while Courtney Cox shows that Gale Weathers is still a force to be reckoned with. So, in honor of the DVD release of Scream 4 today, I present Neve Campbell and Courtney Cox of the Scream franchise.
Stay tuned tomorrow for more glorious women of horror.